We’re not sure which was shining more brightly Saturday morning in the Cooper arena” the silver sparkling on It’s a Southern Thing’s (Moonpie) saddle, the gleam of his coat or the grin on Alyssa Lynn Freeman’s face as she took the reins on the NSBA World Champion.
When we asked Amy Gumz, owner of Moonpie, how they came up with idea for this promotion, she shared it was actually Shane Dowdy’s idea to present the horse to the public to showcase the mind and movement of the great stud.
The Pleasure horse industry needs to showcase how great minded and well-trained these horses are, and this was an incredible opportunity to do so.
Approximately 500 people entered for this once of a lifetime opportunity, and Amy and Shane had no idea who would win. Everyone who tried a pair of Rod Patrick boots on at Congress were eligible to enter for the incredible experience.
When asked about why he wanted to be involved with this promotion, Bobby Smith, President of Rod Patrick Bootsmiths, responded, “good product is good product and people recognize that quality, so whether it is boots or horses the quality shines through.”
Bobby shared the excitement this promotion created.
“I saw a little girl from Wisconsin visibly shaking as she entered she was so excited.”
When Alyssa Lynn’s name was drawn, we’re sure there was excitement all around. Alyssa is an accomplished horsewoman who has competed at the top levels in the past. When she settled in the saddle, Shane told her she could ride him as long as she wanted.
” Taking a lesson with Shane is not for the faint of heart,” Amy commented. Working with the best is intimidating to anyone.
But Alyssa did not seem intimidated at all, and in a matter of minutes, she was loping across the pen and changing leads with the talented stallion.
“Don’t mess him up,” Shane joked, as she loped around with the biggest grin on her face.
Jamie Dowdy was also smiling.
“How satisfying it is to see Moonpie ridden by someone else and changing leads” she said, and it made her feel like she had done her job correctly with him.
After a full lesson from Shane including tips on smoothing out her cues for the lead changes, pushing Moonpie forward and then asking him to rate back to her using her seat and legs, and Shane’s tips on riding Moonpie in his “pleasure” frame including “just think pleasure lope,” it was clear to all watching how natural, well-trained, and great-minded this stallion is.
When asked what the coolest part of riding Moonpie was, Alyssa responded, ”He could come out here with all these horses and distractions and not knowing me, and as I learned the buttons I got the same response every time. He was so consistent.”
By the grin on her face, the 7-hour drive she made just to come ride Moonpie was well worth it!